Whether as the starting right tackle protecting Russell Wilson, or as a key depth piece all over the offensive line, Billy Turner bolsters the Broncos O-line, which has lacked stability since the days of Peyton Manning. Fans may remember Turner from his first stint in Denver during the ‘Siemien/Keenum Dark Ages’, but since those underwhelming campaigns he’s put together back-to-back impressive seasons as the Green Bay Packers swing tackle, filling in impressively in both tackle spots when needed, and spent the 2019 season playing nearly 1,200 snaps at RG.
Turner follows Hackett and Outten from Green Bay, looking to win the starting competition against Calvin Anderson and Tom Compton. This familiarity with Hackett, along with the quality tape he’s put together over the last few seasons, lead many fans to believe it’s Turner’s job to lose. Sadly, it is unknown whether Turner will be healthy for the start of training camp due to a knee injury he is still in recovery from.
Turner’s prowess in pass-protection flashes all over tape, as he only gave up 34 total pressures on 533 pass block reps. Of those pressures, only three resulted in sacks, and he was even asked to switch over to left tackle the week of the Divisional round where he managed to not give up a sack. He has impressive mobility in the run/screen game, making him a perfect fit in the outside-zone scheme, and as I’ve mentioned he spent the last few seasons familiarizing himself with Nathaniel Hackett and the type of offense Broncos fans can expect to see in 2022. His frame, grip strength, length, and anchor make him a menace for pass-rushers to deal with, which will be essential when facing the likes of Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, and Frank Clark.
WT: 311 lbs.
Where He Fits?
Turner will compete for the starting right tackle job throughout training camp with Calvin Anderson and Tom Compton. Billy’s health will play a massive role in this camp battle as the offensive line looks to begin to gel, and it might be in both his and the team’s best interest to provide him ample time to recover. The Broncos have the benefit of having multiple talented tackles to choose from, and there is no need to rush anyone to play who isn’t fully healthy.
If Turner isn’t utilized in a starting capacity, he plays a signature role as a reserve linemen being able to cover both tackle spots and even some guard if necessary.
The Broncos brought in Turner on a 1yr/$2.5M deal with a nearly identical cap hit to Compton and Anderson. With all three players on one year contracts, we should expect to see little attachment if the initial starter struggles. If Turner doesn’t win the day-one job, chances are good he hears his name called to fill in at some point this season.
I really hope Billy Turner is 100% for training camp. The signs seem to be pointing to no, but I was excited for these three tackles to battle it out amongst the gauntlet of pass rushers Denver has collected.
If he is healthy he’s my second favorite to land the starting job, behind Calvin Anderson. His familiarity with the coaching staff and the scheme in general give him an early edge in the competition, but I believe he’s best suited for a reserve role.
If he isn’t ready to go before the season begins, he provides experience and versatility for the entire offensive line as a backup. This depth may sound arbitrary to some, but protecting Russell Wilson is paramount to the success of Denver. Quality tackle play has been scarce on Denver’s right side over the last decade, and sadly another offseason has gone by without a long term solution. Luckily though, the team has more than one quality player at the position that should stabilize the unit better than we’ve seen in years past.
Right tackle is one of the few questionable spots on Denver’s roster, and in a division as competitive as the AFC West, those weak points can make all the difference. Hopefully Billy Turner is up to the task of protecting Russell whether his name be called week one, or at some point later in the season.